News of the U.S.: July 1814

July 1: From Batavia, New York — “The British Indians have crossed at Lewiston burnt our barracks and several houses at Hard Scrabble, and are said to be advancing. I doubt the latter part of the intelligence.”–The Gleaner, July 15, 1814

July 2: From the London Times — “In another part of this paper our readers will see a document calculated to call forth the most serious reflections. We allude to the official statement of the American marine force, which may now, alas! without irony, be termed a navy. . . . This force, we have no hesitation in saying, must be annihilated.”–reprinted in the National Intelligencer,November 1, 1814

July 2: From Boston — “We have received Canada papers to the 25th ult. About 2000 more troops had arrived in the St. Lawrence; and the papers stated their expectation of the speedy arrival of the corps of Lord Wellington’s army. . . . Large quantities of ordnance stores and provisions have been received in the vessels that have arrived.”–National Intelligencer, July 9, 1814

July 3: From Charleston — “By a gentleman direct from Fort Hawkins, we learn that col. Pearson, of the North-Carolina militia who was lately despatched down the Alabama, in pursuit of the remaining hostile Indians, has returned with 510 of them prisoners! They were taken without the least opposition–only one gun was fired.”–Gettysburg Adams Centinel, July 20, 1814

July 4: “The 38th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence was celebrated throughout the Union on Monday last . . . it was ‘solemnized with pomps, shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of the continent to the other.'”–Providence Patriot, July 9, 1814

July 4: From Utica — “The army, on the evening of the 4th of July proceeded to the plains one and an half miles west of Chippewa, when arrangements were made to move against Chippewa on the morning of the 6th–but in the afternoon of the 5th the enemy having concentrated his forces in the peninsula, came from his works east of the Creek and offered battle.”–BaltimorePatriot, July 15, 1814

By Abel Bowen

July 5: The Essex Junior, with Captain Porter and crew of the Essex on board, on parole, is stopped by H. B. M. Saturn, on which Captain Porter announced himself a prisoner of the Saturn‘s Captain Nash, and no longer on parole.–Scioto Supporter, July 30, 1814

July 5: From Baltimore — “The government being well satisfied with the ability of the Flotilla to restrain the operations of the enemy within the waters of the Chesapeake, have determined on a considerable increase of it.”–National Intelligencer, July 7, 1814

July 6: Shielded from the sight of the Saturn, Captain Porter escapes in a lowered boat from the Essex Junior. “After rowing and sailing about 60 miles, capt. Porter succeeded, with great difficulty and hazard, in reaching the town of Babylon, (Long Island) where being strongly suspected to be an English officer, he was closely interrogated, and his story appearing so extraordinary none gave credit to it; but on showing his commission all doubts were removed, and he met from the inhabitants the most friendly and hospitable reception.”–Scioto Supporter, July 30, 1814

July 6: From Maj. General Brown from Chippeway Plains — “Excuse my silence. I have been much engaged. Fort Erie did not, as I assured you it should not, detain me a single day.”–Raleigh Register, July 22, 1814

July 6: From Milledgeville — “Though little credit was given to the statement of the Indians respecting the landing of the British in Florida, it turns out to be substantially true. Capt. Thomas of this place, who has just returned from New-Orleans through the Creek nation, informs us, that he understood and has no doubt of the enemy having landed at the mouth of the Appalatchicola . . . . In consequence of this intelligence, serious apprehensions of an attack were entertained by the inhabitants of Louisiana.”–Ohio Register, August 23, 1814

July 7: From New York – “I am very sorry to inform you that the ship John Adams, from Gottenburgh, reported to be below, was the Young Essex, bringing the unpleasant news of the Essex frigate, capt. Porter, being taken by a frigate and sloop of war, after an action of two hours, the loss of the Essex was about one hundred and fifty men. I am happy to inform you capt. Porter is saved, and just now landed here. There is considerable stir here.”—United States’ Gazette, July 9, 1814

July 8: From New York – A name listed as “slightly wounded” in the battle at Valparaiso between the Essex and the Phoebe and Cherub is David G. Farragut, midshipman.—United States’ Gazette, July 13, 1814

July 9: From New Orleans — “Lafitte, the Pirate of Barrataria, was taken this morning. He is now in irons.”–National Intelligencer, August 13, 1814

July 10: From Sag Harbour, New York — “This day twelve months was the last time (and the first, for aught I know) that the enemy paid this place a visit; and I doubt whether they will honour it with another, while they have no more inducements than they have at present. They are permitted to come on shore and get whatever they choose within 10 or 12 miles of us. . . . the officers and crews are daily feasting on the rich produce of the American soil, at a liberal price.”–National Advocate, July 15, 1814

July 11: Letter from Mr. Henry Carlton dated Buckston, July 13 — “Eastport was taken by the English last Tuesday. Three ships, two brigs and a schooner surrounded the Island; the troops marched to the Fort in every direction, and there hoisted English Colors; eight only of our people escaped.”–Providence Patriot, July 23, 1814

July 11: From Erie — “Arrived on Tuesday the schooner Pilot, capt. Johnson, in five days from Detroit. The passengers state that the Indians are committing depredations at the river Rouge and the vicinity of Detroit. . . . Before the Pilot sailed, major Croghan, the commanding officer, had ordered that no provisions be issued to them after the first of July.”–Western American, July 29, 1814

July 11: From Buffalo — “The engagement with the British forces near Chippawa, on the 5th inst. was more sanguinary than at first reported. It is ascertained, from good authority, that nearly three hundred of the enemy have been found on the field. . . . It is generally believed, that the enemy will evacuate fort Niagara and fort George, and retreat to Burlington Heights.”–Pittsburgh Mercury, July 20, 1814

July 12: From Norfolk — “We wish we had more agreeable news to communicate. Last evening and this morning, nine sail of ships of war came into the Capes, and anchored in Lynhaven Bay, supposed to be admiral Cochrane’s, though no admiral’s flag has been recognized this morning. We are prepared to receive them; it behooves you to be on the lookout, for you may experience the first attack.”–National Intelligencer, July 19, 1814

July 12: From Nashville — “Creek War not over! . . . The hostile Indians, to the number of two thousand and upwards, are in the vicinity of Pensacola, and have at length positively declined coming in under the conditions laid down for them.”–Pittsburgh Mercury, July 27, 1814

July 12: From Buffalo — “On Sunday morning, general Brown, having crossed the Chippewa, pursued the enemy, and halted at Queenston. We learn, that on Sunday morning the [English] army moved from Queenston and marched for the vicinity of fort George.”–Baltimore Patriot,July 22, 1814

July 13: From Fort Gratiot, Rapids, River St. Clair –“The land forces arrived here yesterday, having marched by land 15 miles through a very ugly and wet country, and without even a path the quarter part of the way: The vessels were detained by head winds, to-day they have a fair wind, and the Niagara and Lawrence have just past over the Rapids and anchored in Lake Huron; the Caledonia, Porcupine and Tygress, are now passing the Rapids. . . . If the wind is good we will be before Mackinaw in 3 days. Our force will by 550 or 600.”–Aurora, August 10, 1814

July 13: From Eastport, Maine, proclamation of Sir Thomas Hardy — “All persons at present in these Islands are to appear before us on Saturday next, at 10 o’clock in the forenoon, on the ground near the School-House, and declare their intentions, whether they will take the oath of allegiance to his Britannick Majesty . . . .”–Kentucky Gazette, August 22, 1814

July 14: From Washington — Advertisement for bids for rations for U. S. army — “A ration to consist of one pound and one quarter of beef, or three quarters of a pound of salted pork, eighteen ounce, of bread or flour, one gill of rum, whiskey or brandy, and at the rate of two quarts of salt, four quarts of vinegar, four pounds of soap, and one pound and a half of candles, to every hundred rations.”–Providence Patriot, August 6, 1814

July 14: From Nashville — “We have learnt that several hundred of deluded followers of the prophet have surrendered themselves at our military posts, and are fed by order of the government.–The supplies are charged to their account and will become matter of arrangement whenever a treaty shall be held.”–Connecticut Gazette, August 10, 1814

July 15: Advertisement, from Ohio — “Steel traps and spring guns. The people of this neighborhood, are particularly informed and requested to take notice, & also notify their children, that from the publication hereof, there will be within my orchard a number of Wolf Traps SET and Guns cocked and loaded with springs on their triggers, for the preservation of my fruit. JOSEPH KERR.”–Scioto Supporter, September 17, 1814

July 15: From Washington — “The British squadron recently in the Bay, availing itself of its wings, moves about from point to point, from river to river, and by this frequent motion induces a belief that there is more than one such squadron in the Bay. The enemy has probably now entered the Potomac for the purpose of watering only, as he has very few small vessels with him . . . .”–Baltimore Patriot, July 21, 1814

July 16: From St. Louis — “It is affirmed on the testimony of the Indians, that the British agent, Robert Dickson, suborned a Sac warrior to assassinate Gov. Clark while in council at Prairie du Chien. He was admitted into the council; but finding the Americans well armed, and all possibility of escape cut off, he declined the attempt.”–Western Recorder, August 9, 1814

July 16: News from Eastport — “last evening arrived at this port a British Cartel Boat, with 5 officers who were taken at Eastport at its late surrender. We have conversed with Major Putman, who informs that he left there on the 16th inst. . . . J. D. Weston, Esq. a Federal Representative in our State Legislature, has confirmed his British principles, and is appointed Chief Magistrate of the town.”–Providence Patriot, August 6, 1814

July 16:   From New York — “A letter from Baltimore, received by this morning’s mail, states as a report, that Seventy Transports had just arrived at the mouth of the Chesapeake . . . . Another report is that Admiral Cochrane had arrived with the above Transports, and fifteen sail of the line!”–Essex Register, July 20, 1814

July 17: From Washington — “News was received at Washington City, on the 17th inst. that the British were ascending the Patuxent in considerable force. Orders were immediately issued by the War Department, for a detachment of Volunteers. Capt. Davidson’s Light Infantry, Capt. Burch’s Artillery & Capt. Doughty’s Rifle companies marched immediately, and are encamped about 15 miles from the city ready to meet the enemy either in the Patuxent or Potomac.”–Raleigh Register, July 29, 1814

July 17: “Our most important position on the U. Mississippi, has fallen into the hands of the invaders. The British Col. M’Cay, with 200 regulars and Michigan Fencibles and 800 Indians, invested the Fort at Prairie du Chien on the 17th July.–After a siege and cannonade of two days, terms of capitulation were agreed to, and the garrison surrendered on the 20th, having five wounded.”–National Intelligencer, September 10, 1814

July 18: From Buffalo — “Contrary to all expectation the enemy abandoned his works of defence at Chippewa and Queenston Heights, and shut himself up in forts George and Niagara. Our army advanced to Queenston Heights, where it now is apparently waiting the approach of the fleet under Com. Chauncey. An engagement is daily expected. Affairs with the out-posts or picket guards, of the two armies, frequently happen without much loss or gain on either side.”–Scioto Supporter, August 6, 1814

July 19: Letter from Col Hawkins, Creek Agency — “I am on my way to Fort Jackson to meet Gen. Jackson there, who has appointed the 1st August for a general meeting of the chiefs of the hostile Creeks who have submitted, in order to make arrangements with them in conformity with his instructions. . . . the hostile Indians between Appalatchicola and Pensacola Bay have been sent for and are on their way nearly exhausted with famine.”–National Intelligencer, August 4, 1814

July 19: From Sackett’s Harbor — “Sir James Yeo is waiting off the Ducks about 20 miles from this, and it is believed, with a view to give immediate battle, before Commodore Chauncey, who is quite unwell, shall have time to practice his men.”–Raleigh Star, August 5, 1814

July 19: News from Havanna — “The British government schr. Shelbourne arrived at Havanna July 16, from Pensacola, and sailed again on the 19th for New Providence. The officers reported that a considerable number of English marine officers, and marines had been landed at Pensacola, together with arms and warlike stores. . . . An English adventurer, by the name of Woodbine, was said to have the command of several thousand of them [Indians].”--DemocraticPress, August 12, 1814

July 20: From Camp, Champlain — “Last night two of the enemy’s patrolling parties met and attacked each other, and did not discover their mistake until they had killed 7 of their own men.”–Connecticut Gazette, August 10, 1814

July 21: “An express arrived at Baltimore, on Thursday morning last, to Gen. Winder, announcing that the British had landed about 300 men and taken Leonardstown, in Maryland, consisting of about 60 or 70 houses. The British had received additional force of ships, and were ascending the Chesapeake.”–Providence Patriot, July 30, 1814

July 21: From Charleston — “The privateer schooner Saucy Jack opened a rendezvous yesterday at 11 o’clock, for the enlistment of her crew. Before 5 one hundred and thirty able–bodied seamen were shipped, and ready to engage in the glories and dangers of an Atlantic cruise. Probably such a thing is unprecedented even in this country, however remarkable for her maritime enterprise.”–Aurora, August 1, 1814

July 22: From Virginia — “The enemy are desolating the shores of the Potomac. . . . A letter received on Saturday by Dr. Wm. Fouchee, from col. Parker, dated 22d instant, near Chilton Cross Roads states that the enemy were within a mile of his house destroying and ravaging the country. Mrs. Peake was so closely pursued in her carriage by the enemy, that co. Parker who had drawn up his men to fire upon them, was obliged to suffer her to pass thro’ his line to save her.”–The Gleaner, August 12, 1814

July 23: “It is done. The long agony is over.”–The redoubtable chieftain of the Bay State has at last concluded to acknowledge the supremacy of the General Government. He has lately ordered into the service of the United States, a large body of militia, with directions to report themselves to General Dearborn–“–Providence Patriot, July 23, 1814

July 23: From Chillicothe — “By the express who arrived here on Wednesday last direct from Greenville, we are informed that the treaty is nearly concluded with the Indians by our commissioners–that they were favorably disposed to the United States–and that eight of the tribes had taken up the hatchet, determined to embark their lives and fortunes with us.”–National Intelligencer, August 2, 1814

July 24: From Alexandria — “It is ascertained that admiral Cockburne was at Leonardstown in person, and sanctioned every species of plunder–such articles as were not carried off were destroyed–the doors and windows of the houses broken, &c”–Providence Patriot, August 6, 1814

July 25: From Long Island –“Two deserters, who passed through this place yesterday, state that it is the universal opinion on board the fleet, that the Island will be the first object of attack–New York the second.”–Adams Centinel, August 10, 1814

July 25: Battle of Bridgewater, or Chippewa — “It would be impossible to put the action of the 25th on paper. Considering the numbers engaged, the history of modern wars will scarcely produce a parallel. The admiration of this nation will follow those who fought, those who bled, and those who fell–to their graves–their names will justly be added to that brilliant catalogue of worthies, the heroes of the revolution and the battle of Bridgewater, will be remembered, by posterity, with the same sensations as those of Bunker Hill and Saratoga.”–Scioto Supporter,August 13, 1814

July 25: About 5 o’clock, P.M. on the 25th ult. Gen. Brown fell in with the British force under the command of Major Gen. Riall, posted near the Falls of Niagara, when an engagement ensued which lasted until 8 o’clock, during which time the enemy were driven from their positions, and nine pieces of their cannon were taken. About this hour (8 o’clock) Lieu. Gen. Drummond came up with a reinforcement of 2500 men. The action recommenced with redoubled vigor, and continued until after 10 o’clock, when the united forces of Drummond and Riall were compelled to retreat. It was a fine moonlight night, and every object was visible.”–Providence Patriot, August 6, 1814

July 26: From Nashville — “We have intelligence of the arrival of Gen. Jackson at Fort Jackson in the Creek nation. He has despatched runners to notify the Indians to meet him at that place the first day of August, when he will designate the boundary of the Creek nation.”–Louisville Western Courier, August 22, 1814

July 26: From Fredericksburg — “the enemy is actively carrying on his predatory warfare in our waters. In Westmoreland his outrages have been as lamentable to the inhabitants as they were disgraceful to himself . . . In one of his incursions, the houses of four or five Widows were destroyed.”–Alexandria Gazette, July 26, 1814

July 27: From Plattsburgh — “On Saturday last two of our gunboats captured a raft near the lines on its way to the enemy, consisting of an immense quantity of plank, several spars, and 24 barrels of tar. Eight persons were taken on the raft, who are citizens of the U. S.–they were detained on board the fleet.”–Providence Patriot, August 6, 1814

July 27: From Major A. H. Holmes, at Sault St. Mary’s — “I left the squadron with Lt. Turner of the navy, and arrived at the Sault St. Mary’s at noon the day after; two hours before, the North West Agent had received notice of our approach, and succeeded in escaping with a considerable amount of goods, after setting fire to the vessel above the falls.”–Western Spy, September 17, 1814

July 28: From Niagara — “A boat, containing three men, (and a quantity of goods) supposed to be persons following the army as retailers, is reported to have passed over Niagara Falls last week. The names of the persons said to be lost, we have not ascertained.”–Alexandria Gazette, July 28, 1814

July 28: From Washington — “The battalion of City Volunteers that lately returned from a short tour of duty below, have been discharged. They were reviewed on Saturday last at their encampment, by Brig. Gen. Winder, who expressed his satisfaction at their alacrity and good appearance . . . .”–National Intelligencer, July 28, 1814

July 29: “We have information from below, that the enemy were on Friday in possession of Chaptico, in St. Mary’s county. Many of the negroes from that county and Charles have within a few days been brought up into the interior for safety from the kidnappers, who appear to have a greater appetite for slaves and tobacco than for fighting.”–National Intelligencer, August 4, 1814

July 30: From Charleston — “On the 30th ult. the privateer Saucy Jack sailed from Charleston, and on the 9th inst. she returned to Savannah, with two prizes, laden with 1400 bales of cotton. Previous to this her sixth cruize, she had captured and destroyed property to the amount of one million of dollars, and paid duties to government, $60,000.”–Providence Patriot, August 27, 1814

July 30: Head-Quarters, Camp Montezuma; Province of New Mexico, July 30, 1814 Gentlemen–With a sincere desire to preserve with dignity the principles of true morality, and to preserve with unsullied purity the sacred rites of Christianity in our army, I do, by and with the advice and consent of the Board of War of the Northern Division of the Auxiliary Republican forces of Mexico, invite a few gentlemen of the profession of Divinity to join our army, and to act as Chaplains thereto. . . . John H. Robinson, Commanding”–National Intelligencer, September 10, 1814

July 31: Commodore Porter arrived in this city [Washington, D.C.] on Sunday last, and is now here. Lt. Downes, of the Essex Junior, had been in the city a day or two, and was on his return to the North in the stage which was unfortunately swept away by the fresh at Bladensburg on Wednesday. He escaped with the loss of his trunk, containing his cloathing, and it is said a considerable sum of money.”–National Intelligencer, August 2, 1814

About the Author

Mary Bowden is a researcher working at the Texas Collections Deposit Library at the University of Texas. A little-known but invaluable treasure of U.S. history and the history of American journalism is archived in the collection of bound United States’ Newspapers at the University of Texas at Austin. The collection began more than a century ago and has been stored in recent years in the Texas Collections Deposit Library on the campus of the University of Texas. The sizeable archive is currently in the early stages of being digitized before being moved to a more climate-controlled environment at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus of the University, on the north side of Austin.

Mary Bowden